Saturday, July 08, 2006

Playing catch up

I realize that after leaving Ag. Nik. things got a bit confusing. Let me summarize.

First, we should have stayed in Ag. Nik. It was the nicest place, although the hotel had these death water heaters above each tub. There were about 30 gallons of 80-90C water, complete with exposed electrical wires, hovering above you. I was freaking out every time I got into the shower. Can you tell I worry too much? But you would too. Convert 80-90C and you'll know what I mean. You couldn't touch the hot tap because the metal got too hot to touch.

Anyway, we were looking at bus rides from AN back to Heraklion, and then from Heraklion to Matala and back, and then out to Hania and Kissamous. By the time we added up the ticket prices times five, we realized it would be over 100€, so for 125€ we rented a car for four days. This was great because of the convenience but bad because I had a lousy navigator. (See earlier post.) I soon realized I had to look at the map and stop to double check. I was PIC after all...

As you read, Matala was a bust and we couldn't wait to get out of town. Then getting to Kissamous was crazy, but we managed. Then we headed to Falasarna, which is a nice beach, but because of the crazy roads, I'll be doing that drive myself and not trusting the busses. Ditto for the trip to Elafonisi. Check out this road.

We are waiting at a light so that we can snake through a single-lane tunnel. I ask--how do the busses fit?
How would you like to live with your front door this close to the road? In some places, you can see where the cars have scraped the side of a house, especially when the road literally makes a 90-degree turn at the corner of your home. Hey Fred, says Ethel, you think we should move now?

Here we are passing a moped on the road. This gives you a pretty good sense of what the roads are like in the villages.
And when you're driving along at 50-60km/hr, suddenly everyone slams on their brakes to pass the one car going the other way.

I'm scared to death (I know, I'm worrying too much!) about letting my kids walk here. The cars have no problems zooming past you at 40km or more, brushing inches from you. One move in the wrong direction and SPLAT.

So we drove all the way to Elafonisi beach. It's supposed to be the best beach on the island. It's an hour plus drive over the mountains, through the tunnel, via village after village, and then you get there and are surprised to see about a thousand people all sitting in deck chairs lining the beach. (Cost 7€, toilets cost 50 cents. No wonder everyone was using the water instead. Yum.)

I swam out to the rocks and fished out a plastic bag, and the proceded to fill it with garbage that had collected in the rocks. I could have spent all day picking up plastic bags, soda cans, napkins, plastic lids, cigarette cartons. The wind was really bad; I pointed out a beach lounger (one of those plastic blow-up things) that was flipping along out to sea. Ooops.

Speaking of wind, the last four days have been windier than Chicago. The old locals are complaining that they've never seen weather like this--and certainly never in July. Hmm. Could that be the global climate change we're all experiencing? We also got unseasonable rain after leaving Matala on Wednesday. The kids are convinced we're cursed. Rain everywhere.

The town we're in now has a beach and that's it. There are the noisy tavernas near our apartment. We're looking at which one to go to for the 10pm game tonight and the 8pm game tomorrow. I hope the kids enjoy the beach because that's all we're going to do around here. We are thinking of renting a car for the last few days here, mostly because it may be cheaper than taking the bus back to Heraklio.

The internet cafes are closed tomorrow, so I won't be posting anything or checking email. I will get online on Monday, though. Oh, and I may come back later tonight, which will be your Saturday morning. Bye for now.


At 5:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey kelly lordie ... I can't quite get tooo upset about your bouts of difficulties after all you are having the time' o'your lives.... keep safe have a ball and ahem go with the flo... xo dave from group/ ps have some good pic's for when you all get back.


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